Importance of Health Education In Schools must have long term objectives.It appears important to acquire healthy eating habits in early childhood, and positive approach to food in their lifestyle. .Upon every teacher rests responsibility for positive health instruction. The crucial test of such instruction in the school is the extent to which the girls and boys obey the rules of health day in and day out. It is relatively easy to secure action in case of illness. When we are sick we send either for a physician or a minister. We vow that if we recover, we shall not again transgress the rules of health. Indeed, our attitude becomes quite angelic, for,
When the devil was sick, the devil a monk would be;
When the devil was well, the devil a monk was he.
Importance of Health Education In Schools And Principles of Health Must Be Taught In Schools
The fundamental rules of health should be taught again and again throughout the entire elementary-school period. Whether the children violate the rules ignorantly or willfully, they cannot escape the consequences of such action, as is evidenced by the incidence of old age. We commonly think of old age, the time when death gathers its harvest, as belonging to the later years of life. Old age, as the director of the Life Extension Institute once pointed out in a public address, begins at twelve years. From earliest infancy to age twelve there is a decreasing death rate per thousand of the population of each age. At age twelve the death rate begins to increase. The death rate at age twelve, as reported a few years ago, was 2.4 per thousand; at twenty, 4.5; thirty, 6.8; forty, 12; fifty, 18; and at sixty, 36.
The principal rules of health are comprised in keeping the body weight as near standard as may be; assuming and maintaining good posture both in standing and in sitting; always washing the hands before eating and after going to the toilet; eating three warm, wholesome meals each day; including in the daily diet two or three vegtables, of which at least one is green or leafy; drinking three or four glasses of water every day; drinking at least a pint of milk each day and avoiding tea and coffee; having a natural bowel movement every day; playing out of doors at least one hour a day; wearing clean and seasonable clothing; keeping the face, ears, neck, hands, and nails clean at all times; using only individual towels and drinking-cups; always carrying a handkerchief; brushing the teeth on rising and again before retiring; sleeping from ten to twelve hours each night with the windows of the sleeping-room open; and taking a complete tub bath more than once a week.
Health instruction of this type is merely academic and of little value unless it is accompanied by action. To secure action the teacher must be constantly watchful and on the alert. The child is interested in observing the rules of health only when their observance brings him something that he strongly desires. To obtain the successive badges of page, squire, knight, and knight-banner, he will consistently obey the rules of the Modem Health Crusade. For the privilege of being inspector in the daily morning inspection of the pupils, he will keep his own hands and nails scrupulously clean, no matter how dirty they used to be.
That he may be called upon to read orally, he will “sit tall,” no matter how badly he used to slouch. To gain the coveted opportunity of leading the line of march into or out of the building, he will walk in correct posture. To hold his place on the football team, he will take adequate sleep, guard his diet, and refrain from the use of tobacco. The constant problem of the teacher is to find incentives; for children have little direct interest in health and are not saints in observing its rules
Calisthenic exercises of two or three minutes’ duration are given at intervals during the day for the purpose of affording physical relief. Observation leads one to believe that many teachers do not appreciate the importance of these brief relaxation periods, yet it is a fact that a very few minutes of vigorous activity, with the windows thrown wide open, suffice to fill the lungs with fresh air and relax muscles that have been kept too long in a cramped position. It makes possible more vigorous application of attention during the ensuing work period.
Gymnastics — marching, running, aesthetic dancing, calisthenic exercises — constitute a valuable part of the physical training of school children. Under the direction of an intelligent teacher they promote normal physical development, good carriage, and a motor coordination that is both easy and graceful. They exert important effects upon muscular tone, respiration, digestion, circulation, assimilation, and excretion. Moreover, they demand for their successful performance a concentration of attention and a coordination of mental and physical responses that have undoubted transfer value to the practical concerns of life. But they have the common defect of being forms of exercise that are discontinued when school days are over; in fact, when the school day is over. Hence they should not be made the sole basis of physical training.
Athletics, plays, and games are an equally important part of the modem physical-training program. In contrast with formal gymnastics they demand exercise out of doors and tend to become permanent interests of the children. Inherent in them are all the hygienic values that are claimed for gymnastics. Moreover, they place responsibility upon the individual for performance rather than fomere form. He must drive the ball over the net and into the proper court, intercept the forward pass, or catch the ball that is thrown to him as first baseman. They furnish, too, an emotional life that is not at all associated with formal calisthenic exercises. Finally, they emphasize teamwork, a willingness to take either leading or subordinate rifles and carry them through for the good of the group, the spirit of cooperation. Therefore athletics and gymnastics are both required in any rational health program for the schools.